Designer Claire Pettibone and her husband and business partner Guy love the challenge of finding the right location for their annual show in New York. And this season, they presented the Gilded Age collection in the opulent Prince George ballroom in a former hotel-turned social housing.
Sitting on tiny gilt chairs, sipping champagne, the show opened with 'Diamonds and Pearls' by Prince.
The collection was influenced by the decadence of the Edwardian era, particularly precious metals and jewels, which may have come from Claire's recent collaboration with vintage jewellers, Trumpet & Horn.
With hair piled high like Gibson girls and doll-like rosy lips and cheeks, the models walked to R&B, giving the show a contemporary edge.
Dresses were embroidered with rose gold, silver, pewter and platinum metallic threads, with soft panels and inlays of raspberry pink and ivory velvet. Sweet details such as ribbon belts, floral 'forget me not' embroidery and pearl beading were combined with modern cameo appliqué lace, sheer illusion panels and dramatic lace edged trains.
Leg 'o mutton sleeves stayed contemporary in aquamarine lace, with Whitney being my show-stopper in ivory re-embroidered lace with silver floral tulle and a cape train.
Historically influenced maybe but retro? Never.
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